akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Saturday 22 August 2009

PCC Presidential Ride 2009!

Alhamdulillah, all went out as planned. Well, almost. I managed only to finish up to the 2nd checkpoint - due to the time limit.

Anyway, the journey before, during and after the ride was quite good.

I picked up Atuk on Saturday morning (nearly afternoon... hehehh...) and we went up to KL straight away from Seri Alam. Had lunch at Machap R&R and after solat we moved on - destination Bandar Utama. En route, we saw many cars and pickups with bikes atop the roof. One was having a bike rack atop, but we saw bikes stashed inside the car. Common destination, Bandar Utama, most definitely.

Arrived at Bandar Utama Centerpoint, and I took out the Ikea blue bag to do the job - collecting ride passports, goodie bags and t-shirts for 20 riders from Pasir Gudang. I almost grabbed an X-Terra jersey (nice) for myself. Luckily it doesn't fit me well (my wallet, actually). After that, headed on to KSH at TTDI. Mission - to get a Missing Link. Haha... can't afford to get those big ticket items just yet. That Yeti 575 frameset is quite attractive, though... hmm...

Straight to Kajang after that, to the cheap hotel that Panjang managed to book for us. Got lost for some time, but eventually reached RM Budget Hotel in Prima Kajang at around 8pm. Well, at least now Atuk and I know where Sate Kajang Hj Samuri is. Distributed the goodies that night, and went to sleep after a shower and solat.

The next morning after breakfast we went out to Broga. By the time we came into Nottingham University Malaysia, a hoard of riders already were filling up the parking lots and getting ready with their gears. No time to lose, Atuk and I set up ours. I forgot to lube my chain, but I guess the last weekend's lube still hold :). We went on to the starting line, and handed the ride passports for Kadafi and Aaron. Not long after that, the Prez Ride started.

Out from NUM, on the road for about 1km and into the trail offroad. Unfortunately, the trail is now jam packed (obviously) with riders, the short climb saw a lot of riders already needed to TnT (turun and tolak). A poor chap stumbled off the bike and received quite a bad graze. Riders with their bikes quietly lining up in the traffic jam (trail jam?). We were well disciplined enough not to honk or yell profanities out that early peaceful Sunday morning. I noticed that there was one section where it was quiet and peaceful, nobody said anything - just enjoying the ride amidst nature.

The ride to CP1 was quite good. The longest section of all 4. Hilly, long descents, and in many places, it seems like riding in Plentong and Seri Alam trails. Felt like at home. Reached CP1 at about 10:20 am. I regrouped with riders from PG (although there were many have gone out to CP2 already) and Cyclemotion JB. And, the shocker of the day was when a big guy in red t-shirt took a photo of me with his iPhone. Nuts! No, I mean, Shahnaz! Nuts is my school mate in Jasin and he took up mountain biking only since the past two months. Finally get to see his orange t-bolt, and himself in flesh. It has been more than 5 years since we last met.

I felt really good, and moved onwards to CP2. Very hilly climbs awaiting, and I savor them all. I tried to climb the first long uphill and wondered for a while: 'am I at Steroid Hill already?'. Managed to go up pedaling, but the last 10 meters or so I lost my front tire grip and had to bail out. Saw bro Yahya resting, and so I joined him for a breather.

A fellow rider, a roadie from Klang, had a puncture on his rear tire. He seemed lost, not knowing what to do. I asked him if he has a spare tube, he replied with a no. I offered mine. I asked if he has a pump, he gave the same answer. And so, I gave him a spank, 'kau dah tau nak ride 60+ km, kau tak bawak spare?'. He tried to peel out the tires out, and I asked him if he wanted tire levers too. A nod as a simple reply. A chance for me to catch my breath an neutralize my heartbeat, while waiting for him to finish up changing the tube. He came back to me and said 'takleh nak guna tube ni la bang, valve besar takleh masuk lubang kat rim'. Ahh... mine is presta and his is schrader (or is it the other way around). Anyway, I helped to patch up his tube (which he had already thrown away) and he did the rest. I took my pump back, leveled my heartbeat and moved on. It must have been about 15 minutes or so. Hey, I'm not complaining or bragging, but if I have tools and spares (food and water, even) I am glad to share with fellow riders. However, if you know that you're going for an epic ride, you should have those with you, yourself. Be prepared. If you don't know how to use the tools, then you just have to only ask for help. Just bring them along in your bag - weight weenies or not.

Of all the hills en route CP2, I savour the most this one climb - a short but steep hill, followed by a long climb. At first I thought I could never make the steep climb, but I pushed on anyway. After a few seconds, it came up upon me that I could somehow make it - all the way. I blurted without thinking, 'you can do it! you can do it!'. And yes, I did, followed by a triumphant 'Ohh, yess!!'. I don't know why I stopped at the top of the hill, though. Perhaps to celebrate, and perhaps I needed to catch up my breath too. A rider with white long pants rode past me and said 'good climb, bro'. Well that brighten up my day, for sure. Within, it was a self achievement. I didn't know that I could do it, myself. And, I savour the long descents. Really nice, although a bit taxing to my arms. I enjoyed them tremendously.

Indeed, the cadence training I've been practising really helped. A lot. Because a few km after that I had signs of muscle cramps. Can't afford to power pedal. I moved on steadily by pedaling with high cadence.

Fortunately I came to a point where a marshall told me 'another 2 km to CP2'. Unfortunately, I was 1 hour late from the cut-off time. It could be good to me, but I feel that I can still move on for the 9 km towards CP3. To this day, I'm still feeling frustrated with that. Anyway, I could enjoy those juicy watermelons and Revive. Gulped 2 cans of Revive straight, no problem. And perhaps half a melon all to myself. Bro Yahya was already there, and we sat at CP2 waiting for Atuk, EG and Melaka. To kill time: chat, eat melon, drink Revive, eat melon, chat, sit, stand and eat melon.

Atuk, EG and Melaka finally arrived and after a short while we took the chicken run for another 9km road ride back to NUM. I could still charge on, and went down to the finish line to sign off. End of the ride. But not the end of the event just yet.

While waiting for the lucky draw, I wandered around and bought myself the premier issue of Cycling Malaysia magazine (cheap! only RM7), collect some SRAM stickers, eat the yummy karipap, and meet up with others.

The lucky draw started at 4:00 pm. I didn't win anything, but PG riders went home with 2 forks, a water bottle, and a pair of Nevegals. I guess the lucky draw sponsors had an avenue to do good to the mountain biking community, but they came up short - some of the items are obsolete, and to me it seems it's an avenue for them to free up their storage area. Sour grapes? Nahh... However, there are a few notable items: Fizik Gobi saddles, tires (not sure if they are nearing expiry date), KSH Alite frame, to name a few.

Atuk and I were the last of PG riders to go home. We went to the surau in NUM for a bath and solat. Headed on to Sate Kajang Hj Samuri after that, and then only onwards to JB. We stopped by briefly at Pagoh R&R for solat and kopi 'o' kaw. Met with CM riders over there, and moved on to Seri Alam. Reached home around 1:00 am. Alhamdulillah, we made the journey and came back safely.

My sincerest congratulations to the event organizer for coming up with a splendid event. It was very well organized right from the start. No big glitch, as far as I can witness. Kudos to all of you!

Photos with captions here:

1 comment:

Afrezal Karim said...

At last jupe jugak ko bro.. slalu duk post komen jer last2 dapat jugak bersua.. fit betul ko ari tu.. ntah brapa kali potong aku hehe.. berdesup jer panjat bukit.. apa pun respek sama ko tolong bantu member2 patch tube, provide food.. aku pun ari tu ada provide water supply kat org yang kering water bag.. last2 lagi 2 kilo aku lak kering.. but at last.. ada hamba Allah lain pulak provide air kat aku plak. neway.. insyallah kita ride sama2 .. :)